Purchasing Real Estate Abroad? What to Look For
There are many reasons to purchase property abroad. It may have been a life-long dream to invest in a vacation home. Perhaps you are retiring or now, with the rise in remote-working due to Covid-19, it is possible for you to work from anywhere in the world. Whatever the reason, there are certain things to look for when purchasing property abroad.
Take your time exploring the best place for you
Some individuals know right away where they want to move, retire, or holiday to and then there are others that need a little more time. If you are not yet sure where you want to relocate to, whatever the reason, then you need to take your time and explore.
Prior to 2020, one of the best ways to find your ideal place is to return to a favourite place on several occasions. You may notice and become aware of things that you had not seen or heard beforehand. What may seem like paradise in the beginning may become a little more realistic the more you visit.
With travel restrictions in place due to Covid-19, explore the property via a virtual viewing. Reach out to local residents either through the estate agent or Facebook groups. There are also many public forums in countries discussing the pros and cons of different areas like Reddit or Quora.
Finally try good old Google. If needed, get the latest news articles to understand what is happening in your area in terms of local politics, changes to infrastructure, planned developments and building works.
Explore the area via Google Maps to see exactly what the neighbourhood is like.
Location is key
You have probably heard it said before that there are three important things to consider when buying real estate – location, location, location.
It is absolutely essential that you explore the community you are in and its surrounding communities. You want to know how close you are going to be to businesses and services which matter to you - schools, supermarkets, shops, markets, bus routes, medical facilities.
Location is important because you may need a quiet place when you work from home. If you are planning to move overseas after your retirement, you may have certain medical conditions you wish to address as you age.
Here are some handy real estate links taken from our recent blog post on 100+ Helpful Resources, Guides and Websites:
Realtor.com – Finding the right rentals, homes or land for sale in doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Realtor.com International has quite a few search options that could make looking for property in simpler.
Zoopla - this British property site also offers listings for overseas properties.
Move Bubble – Home management for owners and renters from a single online dashboard.
National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) - Find a trusted estate agent in the UK.
International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) - Find a trusted international estate agent. properties.
Taxes and property law
It is important to know all about taxes and property law when you purchase real estate abroad. You need to employ the expert analysis of a professional when it comes to any taxes or legal requirements that may or may not be associated with your property.
You will need to discuss taxes regarding salary earned from another country, taxes on real estate purchases, and taxes on property, pensions and retirement funds. This will all have a direct impact on your bottom line and how, when, and where you buy your real estate.
Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the property law in the country where you wish to buy real estate, to make sure that all legal requirements are met. You will also need to decide whether or not your new purchase is for business, pleasure, or rental income.
If you are looking to live full time in your new real estate property, then it is even more important to get acclimated with the culture. After all, you may be living the rest of your years out in a place that might not be all that familiar. Make sure that your personality and lifestyle blends in well with the culture of those who live there and maybe even in a foreign language.
While it may take some time, you can easily get accustomed to new culture by diving head first into the community where you are planning on purchasing real estate. Eat the foods, drink the drinks, socialise with the locals, take walks, and explore. When purchasing property abroad, check that the culture fits in with your desires to purchase property there in the first place.
Return on your investment
You will want to do the research and look at the facts and figures on the value of property in that area.
Has it gone up or down? What is the resale value at the moment? Studying the trends as far as value will help you make a wise decision. These are just a few things to look for before you purchase real estate abroad.
Best of luck with your new property!
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